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EPA Clean-up Underway at Abandoned Potato Farm in Worthington, Mass.

Release Date: 10/25/2007
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Oct. 25, 2007) – EPA workers and contractors are currently removing containers of hazardous substances and asbestos-containing materials from the abandoned Albert Farm in Worthington, Mass. EPA is taking this action to remove pesticides, asbestos and oils containing hazardous substances from the property.

The former potato farm is currently inactive. An EPA investigation of the farm found several abandoned buildings, one of which is structurally unsound and from which asbestos is being released into the environment. EPA has also identified approximately 25 drums and containers which have significant traces of hazardous chemicals. There are also several above- and below- ground storage tanks located throughout the property.

The ground under several drums is not sealed with asphalt, and oil and/or hazardous materials may have been released to the soil. There is no fence or other access restrictions to prevent people from entering the Site.

In August, EPA began removal activities at the farm. The work has included constructing a drum/container staging area inside the former garage, collecting drums and containers and consolidating them in the staging area. EPA is sampling the drums and containers to identify appropriate disposal methods.

Workers on site are also cleaning up broken and disintegrating asbestos-containing transite building board within the disintegrating buildings. These materials will also be disposed of at a licensed facility. While EPA has removed asbestos items, crews have also performed air monitoring to ensure that traces of asbestos are not being released into the air which could pose a health concern for people.

The clean-up work is expected to cost approximately $120,000, and is likely to be completed by the end of October.